Well, it looks like I finally got some time in to write. I just started school, I'm extremely behind everyone else and I'm the new kid. It's stressful. Besides, I have to go out and get a freakin' laptop because I'm still laptopless, and have been limited to using the interweb from my iPod. Augh. I'm so glad to be back for however brief a time, and although my body hurts me (major sunburn--blame SeaWorld) I am going to write as much as I can as possible. This idea pretty much came out of nowhere. A plot-bunny came and latched onto the tip of my nose for weeks, just hanging there until I got tired of it biting and had to write it. I finally have the chance to. I'm not so sure how lengthy it will end up being (probably a lot longer than I expect, as always) but I know I'm having at least 5 or so chapters in. I'm not so sure where to start it either, but I'm guessing the plot'll take off. I've just been inspired by the tiresome weekend I had with my cousins, so that's where the Uno reference is from. (The game is Uno Attack) I just think that Ben & Riley would be the kind of people to get all competetive and bet a lot of money on a measly card game like that. Sorry if they aren't much in character, I'm trying. And sorry if this chapter sorta is boring, I just needed a starter, if you know what I mean.
Disclaimer: (sigh) No, I don't own National Treasure and you don't have to rub it in, either. Although--I do own my OC, Tory! Oh, and Janice. She comes out later though.
Summary:// A simple phone call can ruin more than just your Saturday morning. // A family tragedy sparks Ben & Abi's curiosity to Riley's childhood. This is not in any way related to my oneshot "Bear Hugs", it's another take on what possibly could've happened to Riley, and yes it's angsty. You all seem to like it that way. Throughout the process of grieving, you'll all discover what really happened to Riley and his sister, Tory. Inspiration for Tory came randomly, but I stole her name from my bestfriend Tori because I couldn't think of anything else. :p
The title just popped into my head when watching some television credits. I saw something that said 'Saturday Morning' and I misread it as 'Mourning', which made me think, "Hey! What a nice play on words!" Kind of cheesy but I couldn't think of anything else so, yeah. And finally, since this intro. is long enough as it is, enjoy.
:) Oh, it might be a little short. The following chapters will be longer.
Riley Poole shot his friend a mischevious smile.
Ben Gates groaned with annoyance, sending a quick death-glare to the younger man seated across from him at the table. His friend only continued to smirk at him, his eyes motioning over to the dreaded 'card machine'. The button, Ben. He could almost hear the other say, and Ben playfully rolled his eyes. He reached over, pressing the button slowly. The contraption, in return, shot out two more cards and Ben scooped them up angrily. It's just a game, he had told himself. But, it was quite an addicting game he would admit--and he hated to loose.
Riley, pajama-pant-clad and all, had ended up spending the night when he had tried to help Ben with a cipher. The two had stayed up, working endlessly, but sadly hadn't finished. Abigail had sent them both to bed at 2:24 AM. Riley was happy enough that he still had extra clothes over in what they considered his own bedroom--since he practically lived with the two--and even happier that he had clean pajama pants. It took him forty-six seconds after he hit the bed to fall sound asleep. Now, as Abigail was fixing up a breakfast of frenchtoast and eggs, her two men were playing a game of 'Uno Attack'. Quite competitively.
Riley had brought it over yesterday (it was raining- and he was bored) and they had a few games while Abigail was working. Ben easily became attracted to the game, and unfortunately for him, Riley always seemed to win at the last minute. He hadn't won one game himself! He wondered momentarily if Riley had somehow used his tech-genious to rig the game so he always won, but he knew that was rediculous. He told the young man that they were going to play until he won, and he was serious. Of course, they had stopped playing and began working on solving the cipher that Ben had been trying to figure out for days. This morning, Riley had teasingly brought the game out again, setting it up right on the kitchen table. After two rounds, he decided to make things a little interesting, that was, if Ben could 'handle it'. And Ben- stubborn as ever- agreed. He had to win! Though Abigail had strictly told them not to, they had each put some money into the bet--and Ben couldn't help but stare longingly at the $40.50 sitting right in the middle of the table.
His odds of winning were looking rather good. He had just gotten rid of a card and only had one left. Riley, on the other hand, still had four cards. Yet, he always seemed to remember to yell 'Uno' before Ben did. Now Ben was back to three cards. Riley looked over his own cards with a "Hmmm", and looked back at the card resting on the pile on the table. A red seven. He could play the green seven he had, but decided against it. He set down a red card, marked with an 'X'. It was one of those Discard All cards. He watched Ben in the corner of his eye, as the older man's face contorted with frustration as he set down his other two red cards. "UNO!" He called, before Ben had a chance to even think about it. They were both neck-and-neck now. Ben glanced at the last card Riley had played--a red four.
He looked at his only card left--a blue three--and sighed, pressing the button. No more cards came out. He looked at Riley teasingly and the techie had to press the button himself. Again, no cards were dispensed. With a nervous clearing of the throat, Ben repressed the button. Surprisingly, no cards came out, again. He looked at Riley, who tensed a bit, before pressing the button. To his liking, only one card came out--something that rarely happened. He took the card and tried his best not to smile at his obvious upcoming victory. He had a much better pokerface than Ben did. Ben smiled slightly at the fact that his friend had one more card than him and pressed the button. No cards. Riley cleared his throat and set down a 'wild card'. "Green."
Ben looked horrified, quickly glancing at his lone blue card. He sighed, pressing the button and receiving three more cards. He grumbled to himself, as it was now Riley's turn. The techie set down the green seven he'd been saving with a big, childish smile. "I win." He grabbed the money and stuffed it into the pocket in his checkered pajama pants. "Sorry Ben."
Ben frowned, collecting the cards to shuffle them for a new game. "Rematch." He was determined to win.
"Is there more money involved?" Riley asked, before taking a sip of the fresh orange juice Abigail placed in front of him. "Thank you."
"You guys put that darn thing away already! You've played seven games this morning and Ben, you've already lost like sixty dollars." Abigail sighed, grabbing the card-dispenser and the cards out of Ben's hands, setting them further away on the counter top. She went back to the stove, serving them both their plates of food. She sat down beside them at the table, already digging into her own plate. Riley looked down at the food with wide eyes. "Wow, Abi. It actually looks...good. And surprisingly edible." She smirked, playfully smacking him on the arm.
"Oh, shut up. One of these days I'm going to make you cook."
Riley shrugged, his face beaming with a proud smile. "Not a problem. I know how to cook."
"Making cereal doesn't count, Riley." Ben laughed.
His young friend shrugged again. "I can make toast too." Abigail laughed along with Ben, as Riley began to pick at his breakfast. Abigail was actually a decent cook. She wasn't the best at it but she would get better, and it definately beat getting a Breakfast Jack from Jack in the Box. He honestly enjoyed when the two invited him over to eat with them. Riley swallowed, then looked back at Abigail, "Or we could just go to Ihop, since you both like to meanly critisize my skills, and I'll pay. I did win all this money this morning. " He said pointedly at Ben, who glared briefly.
Abigail nodded, "Sounds good."
They all continued to eat their breakfast, breaking into short random conversations. A few times Riley's newly gained money was brought up, and Ben had only groaned in response. After a longer conversation about whether Australia was a continent or a country, they had almost finished their meals. Ben was picking at his toast, buttering it softly. Abigail was taking a sip out of her orange juice; and Riley was rambling on about some strange new show he saw yesterday.
"And this little ol' lady started punching the guy in the face, and she had like no mercy--I mean the guy was trying to fight her off and stuff, but she was like made of steel or something! And-"
He was interrupted when a slight vibration shook the counter top. They all strained their ears to hear--they could all tell who's phone it was by the way it vibrated.
"Is that me?" Ben asked, his mouth still full of french toast.
Abigail shook her head, "No, it's Riley." She looked at the younger man, who had already gotten up to check his phone. He sighed, reaching the phone as Abigail and Ben resumed eating, and calmly conversing. "Oh, I almost forgot...today, we need to go to the st-" Riley blocked out their conversation from that point, glancing at the caller I.D. on the small screen on his cellphone. His mouth twitched into a smile at the name, and he quickly flipped the phone open, holding it up to his ear.
X X X
"Tory, hey. I haven't heard from you in a couple days. "
"Yeah, I know. Sorry. I been busy. Had this paper due for school and it took me forever to write it."
"I understand." Riley said, leaning lazily against the kitchen counter. He was happy to hear from his older sister. They always enjoyed the company of talking with eachother on the phone, which they had been doing more and more often recently, since she had went back to school. "So, what's up?"
"Are you at home?"
He briefly looked confused, then shook his head lightly, though it went unseen to her over the phone. "No, I'm at Ben's. We're having a late breakfast."
He could hear her take a shuddering breath, obviously trying to remain calm for him. "Tory?"
Immediately, Riley's smile turned into a concerned frown. He turned away to stare at the stove, so that neither of his friends would see the distress on his face. He could faintly hear them still talking but he didn't try and listen to what it was about.
His sister sighed, shakily, before clearing her throat. "Mom had a heart attack this morning."
Riley nearly dropped the phone. He gasped inaudibly, suddenly feeling very sick. "W-what?" He asked quietly in disbelief. Their mother was always healthy and stayed fit, exercising a few times a week. There was no way she could've had a heartattack! Not his mother. He didn't want to believe it, but he could tell by the way his sister was breathing it was no joke. He bit his lip for a moment, comtemplating on what to do. His mind seemed to be in a jam, and he wondered if Ben and Abigail had noticed. He sighed, regaining his mind, and nonchalantly wandered out of the kitchen, into the secluded living room. "What?"
"I got a call this morning. Ms. James, you know, her friend from across the street, was there with her. She called an ambulance and they took her to the hospital."
"She....she's okay though, r-right? She-she's gonna be okay?"
"Are you sure it was our mom?" He pleaded, trying to stay as quiet as possible so neither Ben or Abigail would get worried, but he couldn't help his voice from elevating.
"Riley." Tory sighed, "She--it was pretty bad."
Riley could sense, in a way, that she was avoiding saying whatever she needed to directly. "S- what? Are you saying she's....n-no, she's okay? Right?"
He could almost picture her shaking her head sadly, and he could hear her sniffle softly. "She didn't make it, Riles."
And at that moment, Riley literally did drop the phone. It took a second for his brain to register what had happened, and he immediately fumbled to get it back up to his ear, his hands shaking wildly. He had heard what she said, but didn't understand. "I-I don't know what you m-mean, Tory."
"She died, Riley. "
"Are you at the hospital?" He asked, ignoring her last statement. He didn't understand why his sister sounded so calm. Though he could feel the sadness she felt, and he knew she was just trying to be brave for him, he didn't understand how she hadn't broken down yet.
"No. Her friend just called me. I called you as soon as I found out. There was nothing we could do. She died in the ambulance."
"......" Riley felt his stomach doing flips. He leaned slightly on the back of the couch, gripping it in fear of collapsing.
"Are you okay?"
" 'M fine."
"Well, l-listen...I've got to go to the hospital and talk to them, you know. Gonna give Ms. James a ride back home. D'you wanna come?"
He shook his head furiously, wanting to deny that the phone call hadn't been real. If he went to the hospital, then he'd realise that it was true. He didn't want to take that risk. "No. I d-don't think that's.....I s-shouldn't." Perhaps he should. He knew that it would've been in his best interest to accompany his sister. But, he couldn't bring himself to. The words were still buzzing around in his head, echoing, "She didn't make it , Riles.'' and "She died, Riley." He still struggled to grasp the concept as a whole. His mother...heartattack...dead?
She understood completely. "Okay. Well, uh....I...I guess I'm gonna go now. "
"When will I see you?"
"Uh, how about I go to your place after? My apartment is still a little messy. I've got some more boxes I need to finish unpacking, but-"
"What time?" he managed to croak out, still gripping to the couch cushion.
"Uh, well, I'd say maybe noon-ish. It's ten-twelve right now. I'll go down to the hospital, get things straightended out there, drop Ms. James back at her place and then go take a shower at my place. I don't know for sure when I'll be done but, just be at your place by twelve, okay? I'll send you a text or something to let you know when I'm done."
"O-okay. Yeah. Good idea."
"Are you sure you're okay?"
"You should pack some clothes for the night. That way you don't have to drive back to your apartment. It's.....supposed to rain again, you know. Dangerous driving conditions."
"Okay. That sounds like a plan. Do you want me to bring anything for you?"
"N-no. That's okay."
"Should I bring Bastet?"
Riley almost perked up when she mentioned her cat. Riley, being allergic to dogs, was more of a cat person. He adored his sister's cat, and it seemed to like him as well. "Yeah. You can't just....leave her by herself. "
"True. She'd probably claw up the sofa or something."
Riley wanted to laugh. "Yeah."
"I should go, now."
"I love you."
"Love you, too."
"I'll see you later, okay?"
"Of course. You will. At my place."
"Bye." He said, breathlessly. He waited for her to hang up, listening to the tone for a few moments before flipping his phone shut. He stood still there, his mind gone completely blank. He tried to think of what to do, he wasn't even sure if he was breathing or not, he just couldn't think. He wore a shocked look, his eyes squinted slightly as if he were studying something. He didn't understand. He'd watched the television the other day, some random show about how a young lady had saved an elderly neighbor, who was like family. She had grown up with that lady next door, taking care of her when she was a young child. She said she felt something was wrong and knew that she needed to go over. Riley wondered how he hadn't felt anything. How he and Ben had played Uno like they didn't have any other care in the world...and how, at the same time, his poor mother was dying. He hadn't felt a thing.
He shook his head violently, trying to get rid of the dizziness. He felt like he was going to be sick. But, within a minute he regained his composure, realising he was still in Ben and Abi's livingroom. They were probably wondering what had taken him so long. He bit his lip, taking a deep breath in as he slowly let go of the couch, standing up straight. Okay, just act normal...he began to walk back towards the kitchen, they don't need to know right now...just eat your breakfast, and stay calm...Mom isn't really...dead...no.
He forced a smile onto his face briefly, but it deflated into a flat, blank look. He cleared his throat, shoving the phone in his pocket as he entered the dining area. Ben and Abigail stopped talking momentarily and looked at him as he entered, him desperately trying not to draw any unwanted attention to himself. The last thing he needed was his friends getting on his case. It was none of their business. Nothing even happened, anyway....
"Sorry I took so long. A-Abigail, what were you saying?" He said, mentally kicking himself for his brief stuttering as he sat back down in his seat. By now his food had gotten cold but he didn't care. He quickly took a sip of his orange juice, eyes staring blankly at the remaining frenchtoast on his plate, taking a moment to get himself together. When he looked up, Ben and Abigail's eyes met his instantly. Ben had his eyebrows furrowed, carefully studying the younger man. He seemed a bit jittery, and Ben knew that something was wrong, he just didn't know what. He knew better than to pester him though.
Abigail cleared her throat, knowing that the young techie just wanted to go back into their conversation. She tried to think about what they began speaking of when he had left to answer the phone..."Oh, yeah, I need to go to the store and get a few things."
"Who was that?" Ben asked, trying to slip it into the conversation as casually as possible.
Ben nodded, but Abigail gave them both a confused look. Obviously Ben knew who Tory was, but she hadn't a clue. "Who?"
"My sister." Riley supplied.
"Oh." Abigail's face faulted slightly. She never knew Riley had a sister. Heck, she hadn't known much about Riley. Though she considered the man her little brother, and knew lots of things about him, she didn't really know about him. She frowned. How could she know him so well, yet hardly know a thing? It was a contradiction in itself. "You never told me you had a sister."
Riley shrugged, leaning back in his chair comfortably to appear more relaxed. "Well, I've always had her."
"Is she older or younger than you?"
"Older. Five years."
"Ah." She said, more to herself than to the men at the table. She shifted, looking back at Ben, who too felt the awkward tension built around their friend. Luckily, Ben seemed to ask what they both had in mind. "Is something wrong, Riley?"
He shook his head, averting his eyes back to his plate. "Naw. Just feel a little sick."
"What's wrong? Does your stomach hurt?" Abigail asked hurriedly. Riley almost regretted mentioning it, since whenever he or Ben ever got an illness, her motherly instincts kicked in. Though he loved it when she took care of him like that. She was a good doctor, and she made a pretty mean chicken noodle soup.
"Sorta. I'll be okay." He timdly pushed the plate away from him and towards the center of the table. "I have to go."
"What do you mean?"
"Tory's coming over. 'M sorry. " He stood up, "Breakfast was great though, Abi. Thank you."
Abigail frowned in confusion. "You're welcome, Riley."
He sighed, shifting his weight onto each foot, as his friends watched him. "Well...uh..okay, I'll...call you later. That way...well, you call me Ben, if you find something out about the cipher. Sorry we couldn't crack it. You can keep the game too, I'll pick it up some other time." He said, already slipping into his hoodie.
"You're not going to change your pants?" Abigail asked him, standing up herself after Ben.
"Nah, I'm comfy." He said, walking towards the door and fishing his keys from the key holder. "'M sorry to run out on you guys like this, but....I'll talk to you guys later?"
Ben nodded, "Okay. Just be careful."
Abigail looked at Riley concerned, as he opened the front door. The sky was a dark gray, and surely the rain was a-coming. "Are you sure you're okay? D'you want us to give you a ride or something?"
Riley smiled sadly, softly shaking his head. "No, that's okay. I'll be fine. I've gotta go."
His friends nodded, "Okay. Drive safely."
"I will. Bye."
And he shut the door quickly, leaving them standing in confusion.
X X X
As soon as Riley shut the door, he let out the breath he didn't even know he was holding. He shakily removed his hand from the doorknob, and turned around, staring into the gray sky. The clouds were blocking the sun. It fit the mood perfectly. He stuffed his hands into the kangaroo pocket on his gray hoodie and silently walked towards his car, his legs feeling weaker and weaker with each step he took. When he reached the car, he mindlessly hopped into it as usual, and slid the key into the ignition. The familiar roar of the engine brought his mind back to reality, and he forced himself to focus on his driving and not on his mother. He pulled the car out of the driveway and into the street, eyes glued solely to the road ahead. He stayed stiff for the first few minutes, making sure nothing but the road had his full attention but then let himself think about what had happened. His mother was dead.
He sighed, pulling into the main road, and switching lanes. The nice thing was that the Gates' Mansion was a bit of a ways away from the major hussle and bussle of the city, and it was quite calming. He breathed in the fresh air, knowing that he was driving in the opposite direction as to where his apartment was. He knew where he was going, and he wasn't going there.
A/N: OH GOD! I finally did it. I'm not at all happy with how this turned out. I didn't have that much time to write it, so I didn't have the chance to rewrite what I didn't like. I feel like everything sorta just rushed and it was a tad short, but this was definately the hardest chapter to write. Now that's it over, I can work on the rest, which will be much easier. The other chapters coming will be longer and make more sense. I wanted to end somewhat on a cliffie. Hah. I hope you guys liked it though, because I sure didn't much. Let me know what you think. I'll try to update the next chapter as soon as possible, I'm already working on the writing but not sure when it'll be posted. Just be patient. I really hope you guys liked it though...I'm feeling nervous. It could've been better but it's late here and I'm really running out of time and I wanted to post this and get it out of the way. I'm not so sure how I did with the characters and such. And Tory, well, you'll see her personality within the next few chapters. Her and Riley's conversation was just a bit awkward, so I couldn't really show you all what she was like. Anyway, Poor Riles right? Give him a hug, I wanna. The angst will never cease, so be prepared. Sorry if you were confused by anything, ask me whatever you want I'll do my best to respond. Anyway, review it please, and uh, yeah...ugh...
(nervous smile) please?